Words by Jesse Serwer:::Video and Photo by Martei Korley—
I first became aware of Acmatic through their video for “The Power,” and was equally intrigued by the song’s dark, synth-pop sound and the video’s distinctive visuals, featuring a disaffected teen with a cape and paper plate for a face. This was a band with an aesthetic unlike anything I’d seen from out of Jamaica. Something new and fresh was happening musically in the land of reggae and dancehall that people from elsewhere would never expect to hear from JA. As I learned more about the group, I found that they weren’t a Jamaican new-wave band, like I’d thought after hearing “The Power,” but a chameleon-like entity of indeterminate size (We’re still not exactly sure how many members there are) that started out as an underground hip-hop group. When a second, equally impressive video, for the anthemic punk song “Silver Nimbus,” emerged last summer, it only added to the intrigue.
Late last year, LargeUp’s Martei Korley traveled to Chillitos, the Kingston JaMexican joint (yes, JaMexican) that’s Acmatic’s home away from home, to link with core members Philip Myers, Alex “Beatnik Bill” Delaphena, Dan Haggar, Joel Ashbourne, King Lopo and MXY (aka “Plateface”) and find out where the band’s unique sound and visuals come from and what, exactly, is up with Plateface.